More than 700 church and community members gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Springwood Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Queensland, on Sabbath, May 13, honouring its deep roots with a program themed “Planted.”
The celebration featured a special service that highlighted the church’s rich history and influential role within local and Adventist communities. The event showcased a series of speeches—some presented by former Springwood pastors—, musical performances, dramatic enactments and other presentations illustrating the history of Springwood Adventist Church.
Among the speakers were Pastor Barry Oliver, Pastor Peter Cousins, Pastor Travis Manners and South Queensland Conference president Pastor Brett Townend. Australian Union Conference president Pastor Terry Johnson joined in the festivities, extending his greetings via video along with several past pastors.
The theme “Planted” symbolised the church’s entrenched roots in the Springwood community and its dedication to spreading God’s love. The tree, a recurring motif in the church’s branding, reflects nurturing, growth and the organic nature of the church’s ministry.
During his address, Pastor Manners emphasised, “We need to work together as we journey and grow together as a church”, reflecting on the tree logo’s origins.
Looking back on his first sermon at the newly finished Church Hall in 1975, Pastor Oliver recalled, “immediately when we came to Springwood, we were struck by the vitality and enthusiasm of this young church.” During that first year, around 40 people were baptised.
For church member Christina Somerville, one of the highlights of the day was “seeing so many of the founding members able to be present on the day and honoured in front of the church during the program.” They shared vibrant memories of the church’s growth, from welding girders for the Ivan Lovell hall in backyards to the excitement when the bush block for the new church was unveiled.
From plant to pillar
Springwood’s beginnings arose from a need to start a church plant due to overcrowding at Eight Mile Plains Church. They first met in the old Kingston Hall and were known as the Kingston Group.
The current land where the church is based was purchased for $A10,000 and in 1973, Pastor Leo Rose, SQC president at the time, officiated the establishment of Springwood Church. Starting with 103 founding members and 173 waiting for transfer, the church had Pastor Albert Pietz appointed as its first pastor.
Plans immediately started to build the hall, now known as the Ivan Lovell Hall, after his passing in the construction process. Meetings were held in the basement as soon as the floor level of the hall was finished. The front church was dedicated in 1988 and the Life Development Centre was later added to the Hall to accommodate the expanding membership. Springwood has since formed several other church plants of its own.
“The church has been a pillar in the community for half a century, and the celebration was an opportunity for members and guests to reflect on the past and look forward to the future,” said Ms Somerville.
In his closing address, Pastor Townend emphasised the importance of celebrating the past without losing sight of the hopeful future. “We ponder the works of the Lord as we look back, but we need to know where we are going, which is where our focus should be. I know the God I serve, and I know that the best days are yet to come”.
Current pastoral team members Pastor Paul Goltz, Pastor Alina van Rensburg and Pastor Ray Moaga reiterated Pastor Toenwned’s message, urging the congregation to continue embracing faith, community and a vision for the future.